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Panda Bear: Tomboy

Fans of Animal Collective will lap-up Tomboy, the fourth solo album by Panda Bear, aka Noah Lennox, the Baltimore group’s founding member.

His last solo outing, 2007’s critically-acclaimed Person Pitch, was a corker, and you’ll be pleased to learn with the new album he picks up from where he left off, with hums, whirs, shimmers and off-kilter beats creating a texture rich to the point of being busy, yet with vocals like a magnet pulling all these disparate elements together.

For the listener it’s a case of letting the music absorb you – better to lose yourself in the lazy mellifluousness of Surfer’s Hymn or the sublime Beach Boys melody of Last Night at the Jetty than to flummox yourself trying to figure out what the heck the instruments are making all these sounds!

The main fault is probably that the reverb-soaked disembodied vocal sound is over-powering, and that the songs lack warmth in comparison to the best tracks on the last Animal Collective record. Still, if it’s drifty sound-scapes and challenging compositions that you’re after, then look no further.

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